Keeping windows open is a good way to ventilate your home, especially during the summer when it is mostly extremely hot inside (unless you have air conditioners, of course).
However, you might face certain complications when trying to open your windoes from outside because there are different types of window locks that are used. In addition, there could be other reasons why you might need to open your windows from outside.
Anyway, the problem needs to be solved, and in this article, you are going to find the answer to the common question: how to open locked windows without causing any damage to them?
We will tell you how different types of window locks should be opened from outside.
In addition, you are going to find out what types of window locks are used in our homes and what makes them distinnct. All this information will help you find out how to open a locked window from the outside.
How to Unlock a Window From the Outside?
How to unlock a window from outside if it is locked? Well, the way of opening it will depend on the tyoe of the lock that your winndow has. At this point, you might be wondering why anyone would need to open their own windows this way. Isn’t it easier to enter the house hrough the door?
Well, there can be different situations that may lead you to the idea of opening one of your house’s windows from the outside.
For example, if you forgot your keys and you need to enter your house right now, you might want to open one of the windows from the outside.
Of course, it is mostly possible to do if you own the house and your neighbors won’t be shocked seeing you squeezing yourself through the window!
So how to open a locked window without breaking it?
Below you can find several options that are considered the most common methods of doing it. As you remember, the way you open your window depends on the type of the lock it has.
How To Open Sash Lock Window?
If you need to open a sash lock window, follow these easy steps:
- Put your hand at the location of the sash in the middle of the window
Using your palms, press the sash upward. It will separate the window bottom from the windowsill
- Move the sash upward so you can put your hand and free the sash between the two windows
- Keep a hand under the freed sash and then push the window upward.
How To Open A Stuck Sash Lock Window?
- Use a utility knife to scratch the surface of the groove that is located between the sash and the frame. If the window remains closed, proceed to the second step
- Insert a putty knife between the window frame and the sash. Gently hit a hammer on the putty knife. Do this to the gap between the frame and the sash. If the window is still closed, you can try out another approach
- Walk outside to the back of the window and put a pry bar right under the windowsill. Place a wooden block under the bar and hit it gently with a hammer. Repeat the process all around the windowsill
- When the window opens, use sandpaper to smoothen the rough edges and surfaces. You can also apply beeswax or paraffin on the window tracks to help them stick together again
How To Open A Horizontal Sliding Window From The Outside?
It is a must-know guide for everyone since this type is quite popular. So how do you open horizontal sliding window? To unlock this type of window from the outside, you need to follow several steps described below:
- Find out if the window is open and push it with your hands
- If this doesn’t work, place a prybar between the window and the windowsill. Jiggle the window a little, and it will move and be able to slide or come off
If the window is latched, put the blade of a thin hacksaw in the window close to the latch. But this method only works if it allows you to put the blade between the window sashes, and flip the lock
- Another way to open a locked sliding window is to break the lock. This process may sound extreme, but that is a great way to go, except you don’t want to damage your window. You can choose to use a prybar on the latch and force the window open
How To Open A Locked Casement Window?
A casement window often becomes hard to open. This type of windows can get stuck or shut for several reasons. You can find the cause by checking up on all the common causes. Luckily, opening a window with latches from the outside requires only a few simple skills:
- Use a blade to scratch off any dry paint between the window frame and the sash. To do this, gently tap the end of the blade with a hammer to reach deep into the window space. Do the same thing to the outer part
- Wrap a towel around a small block of wood and place it against the sash. Hit the block with a hammer and keep doing it until the remaining debris shakes off. Repeat the same process all around the window to loosen anything that could hold it
- Insert the putty knife head in the lower part of the space between the frame and the sash. Next, bend the knife and use it to pry the window open. Continue this way all over the edges of the window
- Use two putty knives to increase the effect until the seal in the space breaks. After this process, the hinges will be free to move
- Apply a spray of lubricant on the hinges and secure all loose screws. If they are rusty, replace them immediately. Lubricate the inner part of the hinges to reduce friction when they turn
- Use sandpaper on the section between the frame and the sash. Use it to remove paints and to smooth the rough wood on this section. Apply to vanish and candle wax to prevent further sticking.
Like this, you are now aware of the best-working methods of opening stuck windows depending on the type of lock they have. With this bbrief guide, you will be able to easily cope with a stuck window and open it from outside no matter what.
Common Types Of Locks In Different Windows
As you already know, the method you will use for opening a stuck window from outside depends on the type of lock that this window has. And since we have provided you with the detailed guide on opening different types of window locks above, now it is time for you to learn more about each of those lock types.
Every window has locks, as we all know, and the type of lock depends on the kind of window you are using. Let’s look at some of the types of window locks that you will find in different windows.
Double-Hung Sash Windows
These windows are very popular. You can easily recognize them by their ability to slide in up and down directions. Understanding how they work will help in figuring out how to open top sash window even if it’s your first. So if your house has double-hung sash windows, consider they have the following characteristics:
- A rotating cam right on the frame top of the outside part of the window. It also has a hook linked to the bottom of the frame right at the inner window which helps to make it slide
- Barrel locks sometimes replace the sash lock, or both can feature in this type of window
- The top window frame consists of a pivot lock with a pin that fits into some holes right at that spot. Another feature there is a handle shaped like a pancake where you hold to open the window
Horizontal Sliders Lock
Aluminum or vinyl windows have a sliding half side with a hinged catch that is locked onto the frame of the window. In some, the other side of the window may also have a sliding catch that locks to a depressed bottom track. Knowing how to open the horizontal sliding windows means releasing the two locks of the window.
Furthermore, the inbuilt springs help the window to lock automatically. If you don’t know this, you may release only one catch and wonder why the window is not opening.
The pivot locks of the horizontal sliding windows can get stuck sometimes because of one of the two windows moved out of track. To Fix this, lift the window and turn the pivot with one hand to unlock it.
Casement Windows Lock
One of the characteristics of casement windows is that they slide horizontally on their hinges. They come with a barrel lock, or a hook-and-lock which is challenging to open if you lose the key. But like other windows, there are several ways to open a locked window.
What to Do If All Other Methods Fail?
We hope that you will never experience this, but sometimes it happens and you realize that your window can’t be opened by any of the described methods. In this case, the only way out is to either break the window glass or cut it.
How to Cut Window Glass?
To cut the window glass, you will first of all need access to the tools required since not everyone has them. The best tool to use is a circle glass cutter. As you could guess from the name of the tool, with its help, you will cut a circular hole in your window.
It’s great for a single-glazed pane. If you have a double-glazed window, you will need access to the inside to use this cutter to cut the inner pane. Or, for the inner pane, you could make use of the handheld glass cutter that comes with the circular cutter tool mentioned above.
How to Break Window Glass?
If cutting the glass isn’t an option for you, then breaking the whole pane is the only possible solution.
Breaking the whole pane of glass will allow you to climb through the window, assuming the casement or sash is locked. At this point, be sure to protect your hands, face, and body from the risk of flying glass. Also, be very careful not to cut yourself on any remaining glass shards as you climb through!
Some of the things you can use to break the glass include the ends of crowbars, shovels, or even screwdrivers. You could also use a stone or brick and throw it at the window.
Now you know everything one might need to be aware of in terms of opening aa window from outside. With the help of our guide, you will be able to open your window no matter what type of lock it has or why it got stuck.
Yes, it is since the house belongs to you. Besides, in some cases, this might be the only possible way to come in. Most likely you should, unless you call a specialist to come and open it for you. These cutters can be purchased in any hardware store or you can buy them online as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐Is it legal to break the window in your own house to get in?
⭐If the window is stuck and can’t be opened, shall I break it?
⭐Where can I buy a glass cutting tool?
Yes, it is since the house belongs to you. Besides, in some cases, this might be the only possible way to come in.
Most likely you should, unless you call a specialist to come and open it for you.
These cutters can be purchased in any hardware store or you can buy them online as well.